The Wizard, Conference Expansion, and The Rat Pack.

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I’ve been sitting at the keyboard for ten minutes trying to sum up my feelings for John Wooden, who passed away Friday at the age of 99.  Like many, I’ve always admired him from a distance for many reasons.  The biggest reason… Wooden always struck me as a man that tried to live each day better than the day before.  That’s a pretty good motto to live by.

It took me awhile to come around, but I’m finally getting caught up in all the speculation regarding conference expansion.  I’m a traditionalist when it comes to expansion/realignment, so I’m not in favor of it.  I think it’s all about greed.  But as someone that enjoys college athletics more than sports at any other level, it’s becoming very difficult not to pay increased attention to the topic.

I seem to enjoy the Principal Charity Classic more and more every year, mostly because I get older every year.  It’s always been a phenomenal event, but with each passing year, more and more of the golfers I grew up watching on the PGA Tour join the Champions Tour.  It’s a real priviledge to be able to interview and watch guys like Fred Couples, Nick Price, Fred Funk, and Corey Pavin up close.  And believe me, these guys can still play.

For some strange reason, Dan Winters and I have this unusual ritual at work… We’ll often sing dumb songs to each other in passing, like we’re Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.  Tonight in the make-up room (yes we all wear make-up) I had the pleasure of giving Dan an “earworm” before the 10 pm news.  It was straight out of Willy Wonka… “come with me… and you’ll be… in a world of pure imagination.”  The song was still stuck in Dan’s head when Jay Leno started.  Erin Kiernan thinks we’re weird.  I think I agree with her.


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